‘Two killed’ after gunmen attack tourist resort in Mali

Security rescue 32 guests as suspected jihadists raid facility east of capital Bamako

 Mali’s security ministry said gunmen were attacking the Le Campement resort in Dougourakoro east of the capital Bamako.  Image: Google Maps

Mali’s security ministry said gunmen were attacking the Le Campement resort in Dougourakoro east of the capital Bamako. Image: Google Maps

 

At least two people were killed in an attack by gunmen on Sunday at a luxury resort outside Mali’s capital Bamako popular with western expatriates, the security ministry said.

There also were believed to be hostages in the luxury Campement de Kangaba resort area.

Gunmen stormed the facility in Dougourakoro, to the east of the capital Bamako, a resort foreign residents often visit for weekend breaks.

“Security forces are in place. Campement Kangaba is blocked off and an operation is under way,” security ministry spokesman Baba Cisse said by telephone. “The situation is under control.”

However, he said two people had been killed, including a French-Gabonese citizen and another whose nationality was not yet known, he said.

Security forces have so far rescued 32 guests from the resort, a ministry spokesman said.

Witness Boubacar Sangare was just outside the compound during the attack. “Westerners were fleeing the encampment while two plainclothes police exchanged fire with the assailants,” he said.

“There were four national police vehicles and French soldiers in armoured vehicles on the scene.” A helicopter was circling overhead, he said.

A spokesman for French forces in Mali declined to immediately comment.

Security has gradually worsened across Mali since French forces pushed back allied Islamist and Tuareg rebel fighters in 2013 from swathes of the north they had occupied the previous year.

Initially concentrated in the desert north, attacks have increasingly struck the centre and south, around the capital Bamako. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and another militant group claimed responsibility for an attack on a Bamako hotel in late 2015 in which 20 people were killed.

French troops and a 10,000-strong UN peacekeeping force have battled to stabilise the former French colony, which is riven by ethnic conflict and plagued by dozens of armed groups.

Agencies